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Rebel Kyrgios ready for Wimbledon charge

3 minute read

He's not a big fan of the strict dress code or the best-of-five-sets in doubles but Nick Kyrgios will toe the line in pursuit of Wimbledon title glory.

NICK KYRGIOS. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

He's a self-confessed part-timer these days who says he'd rather wear all black than all white but Nick Kyrgios has arrived at Wimbledon feeling ready to rock the establishment with a run for title glory.

The tennis rebel raised eyebrows once again on Sunday when he mocked the All England Club's strict dress code as uncool and claimed: "No one wants to play best-of-five-sets doubles, no one wants to watch best-of-five-sets doubles" at Wimbledon.

Kyrgios, though, is happy to toe the line and plans on being among the serious contenders when the grass-court grand slam gets underway on Monday.

"I just know if I'm serving well and I'm playing well, I can beat anyone. I have pretty much beaten everyone in the draw before," he said ahead of his first-round clash on Tuesday with British wildcard Paul Jubb.

Kyrgios opted out of the European clay-court season before emerging from his mid-season hiatus to reach back-to-back semi-finals in Halle and Stuttgart.

The mercurial talent has racked up nine wins in three weeks, with his only two grass-court defeats of the northern summer coming against two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and 2021 semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz, both tight affairs.

"I don't think anyone kind of expected that," Kyrgios said.

"Probably the only player that's going to have a two-month break in the middle of the year, then come back for the grass.

"I've played a lot of matches, had some great results, beaten some really good players. I'm just happy where my level's at.

"I'm playing unbelievable tennis at the moment.

"I've had probably some of the best preparation I've had for a while on the grass."

The one-time world No.13, now ranked 45th, Kyrgios makes no apologies for no longer playing a full schedule and skipping the French Open in favour of precious home time in Canberra.

"That's who I am. I don't want to be the type of player that's going to play all year long," he said.

"Living in Australia - I've said it so many times - it's so hard to find the balance between spending time with your family, friends, having that kind of normal lifestyle.

"I don't want to be spending seven, eight months on the road anymore. I just don't want to be doing that. It's not something I really care about - rankings and all that.

"It's not something I chase. I've played top-10 players in the world this year and made them look pretty ordinary.

"Look, I know where my game's at. I know if I'm feeling confident, I'm playing well. I'm able to just light it up kind of whenever I want."

Australia's former quarter-finalist is a raging favourite to cruise through his opener on Tuesday, but is still treating Jubb, a 22-year-old world No.219, with full respect.

"I feel like I can put myself in his shoes very well," Kyrgios said.

"I was once that kid that got a wildcard at the Australian Open. Felt really good just to be around, soak it all in, the media, the fans, everything, the hype.

"I know how he's going to be feeling. He's going to go out there and he's going to just play freely, nothing to lose. Being in that position, I loved it.

"I was an underdog every time I walked out there. I had no pressure.

"So I know it's going to be a dangerous match."

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